Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International (HFH), also known as Habitat for Humanity International is a non-profit, international, non-governmental organization dedicated to constructing simple and affordable housing. The organization's headquarters is located in Americus, Georgia. Additionally, there are five international offices throughout the world in Pretoria, South Africa, Bangkok, Thailand, Bratislava, Slovakia, and San Jose, Costa Rica. Habitat offices on the community level partner with HFH to establish independent non-profit affiliates responsible for coordinating all of the construction aspects from fund raising to offering mortgage services.

HFH strives to eradicate homelessness and poverty housing around the world by constructing adequate shelter. As of 2010, the organization has assisted in building more than 400,000 houses and served over two million individuals around the globe. Construction is possible through monetary and material donations and volunteer labor. In order to successfully complete a construction project, HFH welcomes individuals of diverse backgrounds, and religious affiliation to build decent and affordable homes for families in desperate need of shelter.

While often believed the organization builds homeowners a house as a free project, however, homeowners are expected to pay a down payment and be responsible for making monthly mortgage payments on time. Additionally, homeowners are required to devote hundreds of hours (sweat equity) in constructing their own home or those of others. Although homeowners are expected to be responsible for making scheduled monthly mortgage payments, the organization builds houses at no cost and provides financing with affordable loans.

Families seeking decent shelter are encouraged to apply at local affiliates. A selection committee is ultimately responsible for selecting the people for whom the houses will be constructed. The committee bases its decision on criteria such as need level, ability to repay loans, and willingness to participate in the program. Many participants of HFH establish lasting relationships with others in their communities, while working toward the goal of eliminating homelessness.


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